The Mystery Guest: A Maid Novel (Molly the Maid)

NATIONAL BESTSELLER - A new mess. A new mystery. It's up to Molly the maid to uncover the truth, no matter how dirty, in this standalone novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid, a Good Morning America Book Club pick.

"Polished to perfection!"--Shari Lapena, author of Everyone Here Is Lying

"Lives up to the hype . . . both a delightful whodunit and a pointed social commentary."--The Washington Post

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE - A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: PopSugar, Harper's Bazaar, Chicago Public Library, CrimeReads, Bookreporter

Molly Gray is not like anyone else. With her flair for cleaning and proper etiquette, she has risen through the ranks of the glorious five-star Regency Grand Hotel to become the esteemed Head Maid. But just as her life reaches a pinnacle state of perfection, her world is turned upside down when J. D. Grimthorpe, the world-renowned mystery author, drops dead--very dead--on the hotel's tearoom floor.

When Detective Stark, Molly's old foe, investigates the author's unexpected demise, it becomes clear that this death was murder most foul. Suspects abound, and everyone wants to know: Who killed J. D. Grimthorpe? Was it Lily, the new Maid-in-Training? Or was it Serena, the author's secretary? Could Mr. Preston, the hotel's beloved doorman, be hiding something? And is Molly really as innocent as she seems?

As the high-profile death threatens the hotel's pristine reputation, Molly knows she alone holds the key to unlocking the killer's identity. But that key is buried deep in her past, as long ago, she knew J. D. Grimthorpe. Molly begins to comb her memory for clues, revisiting her childhood and the mysterious Grimthorpe mansion where she and her dearly departed Gran once worked side by side. With the entire hotel under investigation, Molly must solve the mystery posthaste. Because if there's one thing she knows for sure, it's that secrets don't stay buried forever.
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304 pages

Average rating: 7.44




Community Reviews

The Nerdy Narrative
Jul 19, 2024
8/10 stars
I requested a copy of the ARC from the publisher, Ballantine Books, on NetGalley and was approved in exchange for consideration of a review. All opinions discussed are my own and are subjective to myself as a reader.

If you prefer reviews in a video format, I do have a non-spoiler dedicated review that can be found here.

”If I’ve learned anything from Columbo and from past experience, it’s that living acquaintances of the dead quickly become suspects, and that’s the last thing I want to be right now.”

Molly Gray, Head Maid of the Regency Grand Hotel, is back in a delightful new novel in which she finds herself embroiled in the murder investigation of J.D. Grimthorpe - the acclaimed best selling author known as the master of mystery. Grimthorpe booked the newly renovated tea room at the Regency to make a huge “secret” announcement, but before he can reveal that secret, he keels over dead.

Molly’s nemesis, Detective Stark shows up to investigate and among the persons of interest is Maid-in-Training, Lily - an employee recently hired by Molly herself. Molly is steadfast in her belief that Lily is innocent and her loyalty to her employee is what leads to Molly’s fortuitous help in solving the whodunit. Well, that and because Molly hasn’t told anyone that she’s actually met Grimthorpe before…

”It doesn’t matter if you understand another person’s pain because their injury is real nonetheless.”

I adore the character of Molly Gray. Nita Prose writes this novel in a dual timeline to connect Molly’s past to the current events in the present. Molly has always known she was different, but readers are given insight to how she was treated - and misunderstood - by her teachers and classmates. People can be so ugly and impatient when it comes to those who are different or require patience or perhaps a different approach to learning.

I really love how much Molly loves to clean - how much joy it gives her in a job well done. She takes so much pride in her work as Head Maid. She inspires me. I love having a clean house and spend a lot of time cleaning, though I don’t enjoy the cleaning part as much as I do the end result, lol.

I loved being back at the Regency Grand Hotel and its delightful employees, but I hope further novels will take place elsewhere. I think it a bit unrealistic for folks to keep getting murdered at the same place…at some point, folks would stop staying there. There was a little nugget thrown in that I think points to the direction of where the author may go and I am extremely excited to see if my hunch is right.

Honestly though - even if the next novel is set in the hotel, I’ll still be just as happy and thrilled to read it. I just can’t get enough of Molly!

I’ve spent the last day trying to think of anything I didn’t like or would change and the only thing I could come up with is I wish that Juan Manuel played a larger role in the story. He and Molly are just so precious together.

”Stories are a way to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.”

Nita Prose has such a great writing style for cozy mysteries. It’s accessible and free flowing, it makes it easy to consume the story as fast as your little eyes can go. I enjoyed reading about Molly’s childhood, her relationship with her grandmother is so wholesome and heartwarming. I equally enjoyed all the humor from Molly as an adult. She tries so hard to keep a positive attitude and not speak ill of people, so her ways of communicating her thoughts about other people’s actions never fail to produce a belly laugh.

”Never fear a new beginning. One chapter must end for another to begin.”

The above quote gave me hope that it was the author’s promise that we haven’t seen the last of Molly Gray!

The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

You can find this review along with other reviews spanning multiple genres at The Nerdy Narrative or if you prefer video format, I do have a BookTube Channel

A heartfelt thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for their support towards my enthusiasm for reading and reviewing!

Special thanks to my highest level Patrons: Ev, Sharon, Andrew, Star, Amanda L., Kate, Gail, Amanda F., Lourdes, Tara, John, Sharon A-B, Ann, Chad K., Ashley E., Sarah C., & Jennifer M.
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Jul 18, 2024
8/10 stars
this series is fun
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Apr 04, 2024
8/10 stars
This is a charming, gentle and warm mystery. Most definitely a cosy read that calls for copious cups of tea! With fun twists and quirky and loveable characters - this delightful read feels like a well-deserved indulgence - :)
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CA Judy C
Mar 01, 2024
6/10 stars
Love the grandmother character, and Molly was enjoyable. Didn’t really think there was a twist and not sure why the epilogue was added. Seem to go on and on after the reveal
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Feb 22, 2024
8/10 stars
Molly is at it again, bringing readers the perfect combination of suspense and humor through a cozy mystery.
This adventure brings all the characters we grew to love in the first novel, and allows Molly's growth to shine. I enjoyed the alternating timelines of this story, as it provided more insight into Molly's upbringing, which made her even more loveable. Another fantastic story, with a satisfying end!
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